The other night I was watching an episode of Kitchen Nightmares with the famous chef Gordan Ramsey. If you are not familiar with the show, he basically is requested to consult on various restaurants that are on the brink of closing. For some reason the owners who bring him to their establishment never seem to know what is wrong in their business that is causing their lack of business. The first thing that he does in every episode is not take a tour of the kitchen or interview the staff. He simply orders randomly on the menu and tastes what the restaurant has to offer. He is always disappointed. The reason I bring up this matter is that there are a lot of similarities in which these shows expose that is obvious and what we need to focus on in our “quality”. While Chef Ramey is visiting Italian, French, Japanese and other various themed restaurants, it is parallel to us having a Tae Kwon Do, Kung Fu, MMA school. It doesn’t matter. What matters is how the chef prepares the food and the quality that will keep customers coming back as well as referring others to this business.
After watching the series for some time, it is not so much that the chef (Head Instructor) is not talented, it is that he/she has lost their passion. Possibly serving the same food over and over with no inspiration. They have not innovated their dishes or had challenged their creativity to have “Specials”. They are cocky in the fact that they do not need to learn once they have opened their kitchens.
So here is the obvious advice given in this part one of a series about innovating your teaching methodology.
Sample your food – Take a step back and see how your class is run. From the appetizer (trials or warm ups), main dish (Curriculum) and dessert (upgrade programs).
Go back to school – Take a workshop or cross over and have a goal in achieving rank in another style. You may find that even a bad experience will inspire what NOT to do in your mat.
Find a mentor – Success breeds success. But remember, just because someone says they are great doesn’t mean they are. Their proof will be in you.
We always believe what we do is good. It is not until we attempt change that we will see if something else can be better. So try it. We cannot fear it since we expect our students to do the same. In the next installment we will take a look at re-evaluating our class structure. See you then!
Kru Ace Ramirez